U.K. fiber player Trooli gets funding boost on road to 1M home target

U.K. fiber provider Trooli scored £67.5 million (approximately $92.6 million) in fresh funding to help fuel an ambitious fiber-to-the-premises expansion plan.

The company said in a press release the funds will be used to help expand its network to reach 170,000 homes and businesses by the end of this year and 400,000 in 2022. It aims to reach 1 million locations passed in 2024.

Funding was secured via a senior debt facility with the support of the Connecting Europe Broadband Fund (CEBF). It is unclear just how much of its build the money will cover but Trooli said the arrangement offers the “potential for a further increase depending on business needs.”

Launched in 2018, Trooli was initially backed by a €30 million investment from the CEBF and a £5 million contribution from U.K. bank NatWest. It hit 50,000 locations passed in November 2020 and in July said it had already doubled that figure to 100,000.

Trooli CFO Ashley Atkins stated demand for its fiber service “has been extremely strong over the past year” with its offer “many times oversubscribed.” He added “Securing this level of funding not only underpins our ambitious growth plans but is also a vote of confidence in Trooli as a business and the product we offer.”

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The company’s effort is part of a fiber boom in the U.K. In May, BT subsidiary Openreach outlined a goal to reach 25 million homes with fiber by 2026, expecting to pass approximately 4 million new homes each year in the process. Rival Virgin Media O2 subsequently announced a plan to upgrade its entire fixed network, which includes 14.3 million cable locations, to full fiber-to-the-premises by 2028.

Meanwhile, CityFibre is currently aiming to reach 8 million premises by 2025, though reports have indicated that figure could be bumped up to 10 million if the company successfully sells off a stake to a private investor to fuel additional construction. The Wall Street Journal reported earlier this week CityFibre was nearing such a deal with Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala Investment Co.

In March, the U.K. government launched Project Gigabit, a multi-billion dollar campaign which aims to fill in coverage gaps and ensure 85% of the country is served with gigabit-capable broadband by 2025. It is currently targeting broadband upgrades for 2.2 million locations.